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RPA

  1. 1. Academic Internship Project Subject: Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Department: Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENT 1. INTRODUCTION 2. HISTORIC EVOLUTION 3. DEPLOYMENT 4. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RPA AND REGULAR AUTOMATION 5. CHARACTERISTICS OF RPA SOFTWARE 6. PROS (BENEFITS) 7. CONS (DISADVANTAGES) 8. VENDORS 9. A BASIC PLAN FOR PILOTING AND IMPLEMENTING RPA  STEP 1 – IDENTIFY, EVALUATE, AND PRIORITIZE PROCESSES  STEP 2 – DESCRIBE PROCESS(ES)  STEP 3 – DESIGN, DEVELOP, AND TEST  STEP 4 – IMPLEMENT PROCESS(ES)  STEP 5 – MONITORING AND CONTINOUS IMPROVEMENT 10. CREATE AN RPA CENTER OF EXCELLENCE 11. BENEFIT REALIZATION 12. CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS 13. CONCLUSION
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION Robotic process automation (RPA) is the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software or a “robot” to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. Any company that uses labor on a large scale for general knowledge process work, where people are performing high-volume, highly transactional process functions, will boost their capabilities and save money and time with robotic process automation software. Just as industrial robots are remaking the manufacturing industry by creating higher production rates and improved quality, RPA “robots” are revolutionizing the way we think about and administer business processes, IT support processes, workflow processes, remote infrastructure and back-office work. RPA provides dramatic improvements in accuracy and cycle time and increased productivity in transaction processing while it elevates the nature of work by removing people from dull, repetitive tasks. The technology of RPA can be applied specifically to a wide range of industries. HISTORIC EVOLUTION Although the term "robotic process automation" can be traced to the early 2000s, it had been developing for a number of years previously. RPA evolved from three key technologies: screen scraping, workflow automation and artificial intelligence. Screen scraping is the process of collecting screen display data from a legacy application so that the data can be displayed by a more modern user interface. The advantages of workflow automation software, which eliminates the need for manual data entry and increases order fulfillment rates, include increased speed, efficiency and accuracy. Lastly, artificial intelligence involves the ability of computer systems to perform tasks that normally require human intervention and intelligence. As a form of automation, the same concept has been around for a long time in the form of screen scraping but RPA is considered to be a significant technological evolution of this technique in the sense that new software platforms are emerging which are sufficiently mature, resilient, scalable and reliable to make this approach viable for use in large enterprises (who would otherwise be reluctant due to perceived risks to quality and reputation). By way of illustration of how far the technology has developed since its early form in screen scraping, it is useful to consider the example cited in one academic study. Users of one platform at Xchanging - a UK-based global company which provides business processing, technology and procurement services across the globe - anthropomorphized their robot into a co-worker named "Poppy" and even invited "her" to the Christmas party. Such an illustration perhaps serves to demonstrate the level of intuition, engagement and ease of use of modern RPA technology platforms that leads their users (or “trainers” to relate to them as beings rather than abstract
  4. 4. software services. The "code free" nature of RPA (described below) is just one of a number of significant differentiating features of RPA vs. screen scraping. DEPLOYMENT The hosting of RPA services also aligns with the metaphor of a software robot, with each robotic instance having its own virtual workstation, much like a human worker. The robot uses keyboard and mouse controls to take actions and execute automations. Normally all of these actions take place in a virtual environment and not on screen; the robot does not need a physical screen to operate, rather it interprets the screen display electronically. The scalability of modern solutions based on architectures such as these owes much to the advent of virtualization technology, without which the scalability of large deployments would be limited by available capacity to manage physical hardware and by the associated costs. The implementation of RPA in business enterprises has shown dramatic cost savings when compared to traditional non-RPA solutions. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RPA AND REGULAR AUTOMATION What distinguishes RPA from traditional IT automation is the ability of the RPA software to be aware and adapt to changing circumstances, exceptions and new situations. Once RPA software has been trained to capture and interpret the actions of specific processes in existing software applications, it can then manipulate data, trigger responses, initiate new actions and communicate with other systems autonomously. RPA software is particularly useful for organizations that have many different and complicated systems that need to interact together fluidly. For instance, if an electronic form from a human resource system is missing a zip code, traditional automation software would flag the form as having an exception and an employee would handle the exception by looking up the correct zip code and entering it on the form. Once the form is complete, the employee might send it on to payroll so the information can be entered into the organization's payroll system. With RPA technology, however, software that has the ability to adapt, self-learn and self-correct would handle the exception and interact with the payroll system without human assistance. CHARACTERISTICS OF RPA SOFTWARE Code-Free RPA does not require programming skills: Business operations employees - people with process and subject matter expertise but no programing experience - can be trained to independently automate processes using RPA tools within a few weeks. Many RPA platforms present a flowchart designer, much like Microsoft Visio: process definitions are created graphically by dragging, dropping and linking icons that represent steps in a process.
  5. 5. Non-disruptive One of the challenges of traditional IT deployments is that the transformation or change of existing systems is complex and risky. Thus, many large organizations are reluctant to redesign, replace or even to enhance existing systems through the creation of new IT interfaces (or APIs). For this reason, the philosophy behind RPA is to avoid the complexity and risk of such changes where they are not warranted, (or indeed to enable such changes to be prototyped and tested, simply by simulating equivalent input/output via the user interface in lieu of APIs). RPA tools therefore lean towards "light" IT requirements and do not, for example, disturb underlying computer systems. The robots access end user computer systems exactly as a human does - via the user interface with an established access control mechanism (e.g. logon ID and password) - so no underlying systems programming need be required. This is an important point because, from a security, quality and data integrity perspective, the UI of many applications encapsulates many years of requirements and testing for error prevention, data integrity and security access control. To bypass a UI by creating a new API is a risky undertaking and requires extensive testing in order that the same levels of functionality and protection are maintained. Business user friendly RPA’s relative ease of use and low requirement for technical support perhaps explains why adoption typically originates inside business operations and not inside Information Technology (IT) departments. Because RPA projects do not require expensive IT skills and investment in new platforms, the economic threshold of processes with a viable business case for automation is substantially lowered. Scalability: Organizations shouldn't select RPA software that requires them to deploy software robots to desktops or virtualized environments. They should look for RPA platforms that can be centrally managed and scale massively. Speed: Enterprises should be able to design and test new robotic processes in a few hours or less, as well as optimize the bots to work quickly. Reliability: As companies launch robots to automate hundreds or even thousands of tasks, they should look for tools with built-in monitoring and analytics that enable them to monitor the health of their systems. Simplicity: Organizations should look for products that are simple enough that any employee in the business can build and use them to handle various kinds of work, including collecting data and turning content into information that enables leaders to make the best business decisions. Intelligence: The best RPA tools can support simple task-based activities, read and write to any data source, and take advantage of more advanced learning to further improve automation. Enterprise-class: Companies should look for tools that are built from the ground up for enterprise- grade scalability, reliability and manageability.
  6. 6. PROS (BENEFITS) An example to the different between before and after RPA is given below. CONS (DISADVANTAGES)
  7. 7. VENDORS Notable RPA software vendors include:  Automation Anywhere  BlackLine  Blue Prism  Datamatics  EdgeVerve  HelpSystems  UiPath  Jacada  Kofax  NICE  Pegasystems  Verint Automation Anywhere Inc. provides an enterprise digital workforce platform geared toward procure-to-pay, quote-to-cash, HR, claims processing and other back-office processes. Blue Prism focuses on providing organizations in regulated industries with more agile virtual workforces, offering desktop-aligned robots that are defined and managed centrally. EdgeVerve Limited, an Infosys company, helps enterprises modernize customer service, improve business processes and enhance operational productivity. HelpSystems enables companies to streamline IT and business operations by automating tasks and workflows without the need to write code. UiPath offers an open platform to help organizations efficiently automate business processes. Workfusion combines robotics, AI-powered cognitive automation and workforce orchestration to automate enterprise business processes. A BASIC PLAN FOR PILOTING AND IMPLEMENTING RPA There are typically 5 steps in a basic RPA implementation project. Step 1 – Identify, Evaluate, And Prioritize Processes To identify processes, we have to:  Establish interest and understanding of RPA.  Run workshops with different business functions to identify with an automation potential.
  8. 8. To evaluate processes, we have to create a long list of processes with an automation potential. The long list looks something like the following image. We can evaluate the most promising processes using an automation matrix, which looks somewhat like the image below.
  9. 9. Step 2 – Describe Process(es) To describe processes, we have to create a “Process Definition Document (PDD)”. A PDD contains:  Process flow description (AS-IS)  Process facts  IT systems  Process exceptions  Business Area / Department affected Step 3 – Design, Develop, And Test The design phase consists of:  Choosing process design and flow, framework and solution.  Ensuring that company guidelines and best practices are followed. The develop phase consists of developing and automating processes. The test phase is the formal testing before process implementation. It consists of minimum:  Unit testing  Functional testing  Acceptance testing Step 4 – Implement Process(es) To implement processes, we have to:  Publish and run automated process(es).  Schedule processes: o Queue trigger (event) o Time trigger (schedule) Step 5 – Monitoring and Continuous Improvement
  10. 10. CREATE AN RPA CENTER OF EXCELLENCE RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) is an internal self-sustaining and scalable RPA expertise to run and maintain robots. To create an RPA center of excellence, we have to:  Build the skills and capacity you need for RPA. For this we need the following departments.  Articulate an effective governance model. The following is the standard governance model. For this we need - o Guidelines and templates for assessments, design, development and deployment. o Assigning roles & accountability. o Ensure good collaboration and communication.  Launch CoE and scale.
  11. 11. BENEFIT REALIZATION The following is the RPA benefit cube. When all three effects are added up we get the cube below. The key takeaway here is that you can’t look blindly on cost effects; both business and operation effects should be considered too. CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS
  12. 12. CONCLUSION As RPA brings more technologically-advanced solutions to businesses around the world, operating models that adopt automation, whether in-house or offshored, will cut costs, drive efficiency and improve quality.

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